Do you ever get the impression some people have too much time on their hands? 1,600 people have found a way to use some of theirs. They have pledged support and money to build the first working model of Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine. "This was the first real computer," enthuses John Graham-Cumming, author of The Geek Atlas, whose idea the project is. Babbage envisioned his engine in 1837. A steam powered monster of brass and iron which would, he said, "be bigger than a steam engine." If you have trouble envisioning what such a behemoth would look like SEE IT HERE
The Fish has just one question: What is the point?
Napoleon Hill said: “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”. There are cases where the Fish hopes not - more super weapons anyone? But if it were not for advances in modern medicine The Fish would not be alive to bring you all this insightful stuff in place one and no technological advances and I'd be stuck with my nearest and dearest, who know better than to listen to me, and the neighbours, who would soon start to hide when they saw me coming! Progress is a good thing, an inevitable thing, right? Scientists at Manchester University are suggesting that life since the Industrial Revolution has not been without its costs as well as its benefits.
A study at the university has looked at ancient Egyptian and Greek literature and human remains and come to the conclusion that cancer was almost unknown in these societies. The first operations for cancer and descriptions of tumors come from the 17th century and only in the last 200 years has there been scientific reports of distinctive tumours. The reason for this could be many, of course, and the study itself could be flawed in some way but it would appear that we need to look at the costs of progress to our planet and to ourselves. Professor Rosalie David, at the university's faculty of life science concludes: "There is nothing in the natural environment that can cause cancer. So it has to be a man-made disease, down to pollution and changes to our diet and lifestyle."
There is a nothing-new-there quality to this story and the clock will never be turned back to some idyllic golden age in which we all lived in a kind of pre-lapsian innocence, which probably never existed anyway. The other medical news this week, of the first use of embryonic stem cells to repair a spinal injury, point to the good that progress can bring. But the Fish would like to see progress with thought for people and for the planet, not, as is too often the case, for it's own sake or merely for profit.
YOU CAN READ THE FULL MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS ARTICLE HERE: